Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Everyone has a special gift. Mine is two-part harmony farting*.

Now, after 11 years of marriage, I have identified Hank's special gift. She can destroy the crap out of any cell phone.

I've seen her dunk them into the bathtub. I've seen her hurl them to the ground with such regularity that you'd swear she was dribbling them, as though the WNBA was holding tryouts, cellphone-style. I've driven around town looking for her lost cell phones, and when all else fails she just gets them stolen.

A friend of mine kept the same cell phone for more than 8 years. I've seen Hank go through a Treo 650 in something close to 8 days.

What really makes this story tragic (or comic, based on your frame of reference) is that Hank has an exceedingly low tolerance for being screwed with, the hallmark of cell phone company customer service.

Pizza places that lie about their delivery are pizza-non-grata in perpetuity. Car companies that employ sexist salesmen are boycotted for decades. There is no forgiveness in her heart for companies that do not treat her with honesty or respect.

I don't argue with her about these things (any more). First, I learned my lesson long ago, and second, she's got a good point. Why engage in commerce with a company that screws you?

However, when it comes to cell phone companies, there's a huge flaw in her strategy. ALL cell phone companies treat you like dirt. Dishonesty is part of their business plans. Disrespect is highlighted in their mission statements. Their networks are literally powered by proprietary generators that feed on wide-eyed customer innocence and kindness.

So, if you're going to be constantly destroying cell phones, but you want to, you know, keep making cell phone calls, you kind of have to deal with the hell-spawn companies behind them. Most of the time I act as the middleman in this dysfunctional relationship. I accept the figurative and financial reaming to prevent Hank from making a habit of storming out of cell phone stores.

This weekend, though, she went to do battle on her own. I bit my tongue before she left, praying silently that she'd come home with a cell phone and a contract. She had been without a phone for a few days, days where I repeatedly tried to reach her and was unable to do so. I was weary of standing in the middle of a 4-story department store and yelling "Marco!" instead of being able to call her to find out what department she was in.

She entered the belly of the beast, the Sprint store, and attempted to procure a reasonable contract, the sort of thing that's only ever offered to new customers. Some time later, she stormed back out, having been deceived and screwed with.

I let her vent and then encouraged her to try again.

On the second outing she bought an iPhone. Oh, man, those things are pretty. I'm sure there will be a falling out with AT&T soon enough, but for now, we have peace in the house. And a cellphone in every pocket.


* Not actually true, unless we're talking about odor and not tones.


Avery Gray said...

I'm beginning to think you either have gastrointestinal issues or a strange fetish.

Anywho, I wish I could justify destroying my cell phone to get a new one, but I just can't. I'm the type of person who only uses the phone when absolutely necessary, so my cell phone really is just for emergencies. But I have the cheapest model and the cheapest plan, and I can't even take pictures with it. I am so last century!

Hope you got insurance on the iPhone. That's a dandy, alright. Good call, Hank!

missburrows said...

I got rid of my cell phone. Got my husband implanted with one of those GPS thingies.

You stopped reading after the word implant, didn't you?

Mike said...

Hey Avery, ok, but you're missing out on a world of text messaging hilarity. You could interview Lovey from ANYWHERE with fancier cell phone and plan...

Hi Missburrows! Ok, so you know where your husband is, but how does he know where you are? And, no, I didn't stop reading at "implant". I only get all hot and bothered when it's the women with implants. I'm shallow that way.

Avery Gray said...

Yeah, but we live, like, two miles apart. And how many times am I going to interview Lovey?

Hey, will you let me interview you? (If you say yes, you are also giving me permission to use your image in any way I see fit in my Holiday Photoshop Extravaganza! If you say no, you are also giving me aforementioned permission, and making me sad. :o( You don't want that, do you?)

Mike said...

I don't understand. Living two miles apart is a reason NOT to send text messages? Have you hung wire-connected tin cans between your houses?

Sometimes I send a text message to my wife when she's downstairs and I'm upstairs.

And, sure, you can interview me! I'd be honored. I am, however, leaving for a week starting tomorrow, so it may have to wait.

Avery Gray said...

Okay! I'll do it when you get back. That will give me a chance to come up with some great incriminat--er, I mean, insightful questions.

Does this mean a week without your blog?!

Mike said...

Avery, nah, I'll probably do some light posting from the in-laws'.

Will said...

I hope Hank enjoys the iPhone! Don't forget to turn off the wifi and bluetooth when not in use to avoid any unfortunate iPhone deaths.

Mike said...

Aaaaah! What happens if she leaves the wifi and bluetooth on? Death?!?!?

Will said...

Not having any battery life can be as frustrating as death.

Deb said...

Noooo... not AT&T! They're the biggest bastards of all. I know. I've had to use them for years because of a ridiculously cheap corporate contract.

Glad to know I'm not the only one that walks around stores yelling, "Marco". Although, I admit it's mostly for fun, because we're both so handy with our BlackBerries (how do you pluralize that?) that it would be no problem to just call.

Mike said...

Will, understood. We made sure to turn off unnecessary features here in Vermont.

Deb, what's the most fun is to send "Marco" as a text message.